Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Little Sloan

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season! I'm off work this week and will spend the week sewing window treatments for my son, Justin, who has been patiently waiting. . . I am looking forward to 2011 and to see what the next decade will bring. I feel very blessed and am very thankful to be able to paint, work, sew, cook--to do what I want to do. I did make one New Year's resolution but forgot what it was, oh well, I still have a couple of days to come up with my list. This year we had the first white Christmas in 15 years! We were very excited and it's so beautiful.

I've been busy with Christmas commissions and one of them was little Sloan. I love the colors of his outfit, what a cutie and so much fun to paint. I did two of these as gifts.

5 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Value Study Still Life Painting

It's bright and early on a Saturday morning, drinking my first cup of coffee then I'm headed out to the Studio to finish a couple of paintings this morning and hopefully start a few more this afternoon. I have nothing on my agenda this weekend but painting, ahhhh life is good! This painting is in my current show at The Gallery at 916 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I love the graphic quality of the fabric versus the flower and vase. With that in mind, I decided to paint this in gray tones using about 4 to 5 values.

8 x 6

Rhonda Hartis Smith

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lemons Still Life & Home Studio Tour

Rhonda Hartis Smith
I painted this still life while in Nashville, TN for the Peggi Kroll Roberts Workshop. Workshop during the day, painting for the show at night. I've been spiffing up my Studio preparing for the Studio Tour (details below).
Next weekend I'm participating in the World's Greatest Studio Tour and Art Sale. If you are in the area, please come and see me. The hours are Saturday, November 6, 10am-5pm and Sunday, November 7, 1-5pm. I have participated in the past but this is the first time I've actually been in my Studio. Over 30 artists are on the tour and many sites will have refreshments.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shadow Strut


This is one of the paintings that I did for our upcoming show. I was in Key West in February and saw this cute bird just walking on the sidewalk. I think the shadow shape on the sidewalk appealed to me the most.

Angela Kuprion. . .Helen Nash. . .Marian Pacsuta. . .Rhonda Hartis Smith
The Bluegrass Painters showing at The Gallery at 916, Bowling Green, KY opening on Friday, October 15, 2010. The exhibition will be up for six weeks. If you are in the area, please stop by on Friday night for the opening that is in conjunction with the Gallery Hop, we would love to see you.

Last week was such an exciting week for me, starting with a PeggiKroll-Roberts workshop in Nashville, TN beginning on Sunday through Tuesday. Such a great Artist and teacher! We began the week doing 1 minute drawings and value studies with live models. Peggi gave us several exercises and tools to use to become better Artists--now it's time for the work to begin, about 10,000 hours should do it! I'll post more about the workshop later with some of my exercises.
The whole week was a week of celebration because the American Impressionist Society had their National Juried Exhibition showing at Richland Fine Art in Nashville. So many talented artists from all over the US entered works of art that were just beautiful. A special Congratulations is in order for two of my friends that were accepted into the show that had around a thousand applicants, Marian Pacsuta and Faye Phillips. What an honor!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back from Chicago

My blog posts have been very sparse lately but now that Summer is winding down I'm in the Studio more. A couple of weeks ago my friend Angela and I went to Chicago, IL to take a week long drawing workshop from Henry Yan at the Palette and Chisel. His book is "Henry Yan's Figure Drawing Techniques and Tips". It was very inspirational to watch his demos and study his drawings which were so well done and beautiful. Of course I already knew that to draw well you must practice and practice then practice more.

Angela and I had to eat at Gino's and have their famous Chicago Style Pizza!
The view from our Hotel--if you look closely between buildings you can see our Lake Michigan view (lol).

Yes I am still painting, here's my latest 3 hour head study from Monday night.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Young Ballerinas in Class

My apologies for not posting lately but life has been a little hectic and I haven't been painting a lot--so nothing to post. . . We have been on our two week motorcycle trip out West, riding about 5,600 miles covering 12 states. Whew that's a lot of miles not to mention beautiful scenery!!! In Yellowstone we were camping in Bear country, facing cold weather and possible snow before going South to Southern Utah. I love to visit our National Parks so we went to Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks. They are so beautiful and if I could I would like to see ALL of the National Parks in America. How many are there???
I went to a local dance studio, Dance Images, and took pictures of a few classes--Jazz and
Ballet so I have lots of material for future paintings.

16 x 12 oil

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Garden

I've been doing a little gardening lately. This isn't my first garden but is my first in a long long time. It has been enjoyable to harvest the fruits of the land and just being outside listening to the birds chirping. Here are a few pics. . .

Any gardening experts out there? I have some little holes on my cabbage plants. I've seen a few rabbits but I think they're innocent! Until next time. . .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Dance Teacher

After my show at the Capitol last Summer, Kathy at Dance Images was kind enough to let me display my "dance" paintings in her Lobby. I thought the "dancers" would enjoy and appreciate them. I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon taking pictures in some of her dance classes and learned what a challenge it is to get a good shot of dancers in motion. I'm used to models holding poses so this was a good lesson. Out of 500 pictures, I managed to get some good ones for future paintings--fortunately. I wanted to capture the teacher in action although it was a challenge to paint the mirror image of her.

My husband and I are preparing for our big motorcycle trip next month. We are going to the mountains (Wyoming and Montana) to Yellowstone National Park (my favorite place) and Glacier National Park. This will be a different trip for me since we will be camping instead of staying in hotels---hmmmmm. Right now we are trying to figure out how to get a mountain of stuff in our little storage compartment (lol). My goal is to have enough room to pack a few art supplies but I may have to give up my makeup.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I've been working very hard on this miniature portrait of Sheila, only a 5x7. I had to buy extra small brushes for this one, not to mention using anything small and pointy for the eyes. I'm doing a series of three paintings for Sheila's Mother, two sisters and one brother. Although Sheila is a grown woman now, her sweet smile as a child is still reflected in her smile now.

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Preparing for Drawing Workshop

This has to be a record-setting weekend for rain! The sound of the rain was so good this morning that I slept in, which is very unusual for me, then I took an afternoon nap. . .I think you can see how productive I am this weekend.
I did manage a 30 minute drawing in preparation for a workshop I am taking in August with Henry Yan--a week long figurative workshop in Chicago at the Palette and Chisel. I am very excited about it because I certainly need it as you can see. I did a little charcoal self-portrait so it will be interesting to see how I progress on these 30 minute drawings. I don't think the lighting was a good fit for me--may have to adjust that in the future and maybe I should fix my hair, get new glasses. . . I really am not angry, just concentrating. The good news is -- I am always available for a 30 minute drawing!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

3 hour head study from last Monday night

Well I've been missing a little while because I have Spring Fever! Our weather has been so unseasonably warm and beautiful that I just have to spend all my spare time outside. I've planted a little garden and I have lettuce and radishes sprouting already. Having lots of fun but not painting much.
Last Monday night we were fortunate enough to get to paint one of our favorite models--Roxie. She always wears the neatest costumes (she makes many of them) and as you can tell green was the color that night. Roxie is so talented that she even made her hat which was beautiful but I didn't quite capture the beauty of it in 3 hours. I'll try to do better at posting but I still have to paint my porch, plant flowers. . .

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Exploring Color Workshop with Lori Putnam

Last weekend I attended Lori Putnam's Exploring Color Workshop in Franklin Tennessee. Lori is a very talented artist with a wealth of knowledge. I've spent years attempting to "paint what I see" and although I still need to work on that, now I have set personal goals to gain knowledge on color relationships, design and composition. This particular workshop concentrated on color relationships only, not composition or drawing or design.

Lori uses a limited palatte, I also use this most of the time.

Lori lecturing and giving us an assignment on color schemes and mood schemes.
Below is my Exploration 1--a painting based on using two colors on the color wheel, without regard for subject. We just picked a spot in the room and painted it using 2 colors. In case you can't tell from this picture, I chose orange and green. The subject is believeable even though you are using colors that you wouldn't normally use--such as a purple apple still reads as an apple--regardless of color.

Below is my exercise on color relationships. Note the pinkish color in the middle is the same on both exercises but appears to be different because of the colors surrounding them.

The next painting is my exercise on schemes and mood schemes. We got to choose from a basket what colors we were to use and to paint from the gray slide (see Lori's pic above for our reference). My painting was based on a "natural" color scheme. I have several of these exercises to do and eventually I want to work through all of them.

I liked Lori's workshop and teaching style so much, I have signed up for her Weekend Warrier Painting Workshop in April.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fred's Walk

This is my latest painting of Fred and his Grandson walking on the beach in Florida. I would say that this is what being a Grandparent is all about. As usual my photography is a little suspect--please ignore the "glare". Getting back in the studio feels good after my little break.

7 x 5

Monday, February 22, 2010

Value Workshop with Nashville Artist Erin Jones

A couple of weeks ago I took an afternoon workshop with Nashville, TN Artist Erin Jones. The focus of the workshop was "Value Study". I was very excited about this because you have to get the values right to have a successful painting! Erin had several setups and I chose this one because of the swirls in the fabric.

I mixed about 10 gradations of the value scale. Here is my palate with my piles of paint. This was a very good exercise and I did a value scale before I started the 2 value exercise.
2 value exercise--light and dark (shadow)

3 value exercise--light, dark and midtone--a little analysis was done before deciding what midtone I would use--should my midtone be a light or a dark???

4 value study--light, dark, 2 midtones. Once again I had to make a decision on the midtones. I chose to put them in the dark or shadow area. Notice with each additional value you add dimension to the painting.

You could keep going but at this point we ran out of time. L ast week I was in Key West, FL for a beautiful wedding at the "Little White House". I'll elaborate on my next post.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Head Study from Monday night and a new friend

I haven't been doing enough painting lately. Something about January makes me want to hibernate! There is a couple of things that will get me out of the house, filling up the bird feeder and my new friend--the donkey. I don't know if he has a name but I do know he loves apples and carrots. He's still a little skittish but is coming around.
This is my study from Monday night a couple of weeks ago. I tried to pile the paint on. Last week's painting bit the dust--literally--wet paint face down, not a good combination.

He sees the carrot . . .

Thinking about taking the carrot. . .thinking hard!

I know, I really need to get back in the studio (LOL).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Portrait of Peggy

12 x 9
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2010

Peggy came into my life when I was just a baby. My Mother was a young Military wife with a young child (me) and our family moved next door to Peggy and her family. We only lived next door for a couple of years but a lifetime friendship developed that kept them in touch for many years; sending letters or cards with pictures of the children and packages with gifts. Both Peggy and my Mother are gone now but I still have a wonderful friendship with her Daughter. I painted this for her in honor of Peggy's memory.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Little Christmas Angel

It's about 9 degrees this Sunday morning in Kentucky and I am trying to get motivated to move away from the warm fire and venture out into my cold studio. Tomorrow my vacation is over and it's back to work--starting the new year in a frenzy. I have my usual New Year's resolutions that I haven't really started yet (I always start everything on a Monday for some reason). So far for 2010 my art focus is going to be "inspiration and growth". We all have a certain amount of self drive when it comes to self improvement but sometimes external resources are needed and I'm looking--any suggestions on reading materials, DVD's, Workshops etc.?

We do have a two week motorcycle trip planned for this year to venture up to Glacier National Park in Montana, which is supposed to have one of the most beautiful stretches of road in it--Going to the Sun Road. Needless to say I am very excited about this trip--only about 3300 miles from home (lol). I'm going to pack my paint box if I can get my husband to stop long enough for me to paint. And of course we will have to go through Yellowstone National Park--one of my favorite places to visit.

This is my latest painting and what a little Angel he is. In case you can't tell, he had tinsel around his hair and I found this a little intimidating. I just tried to remember less is more. Such a sweet little face. . .

12 x 9
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2010